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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

  |   May 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM
Young historian spots museum error

NEW YORK, May 3 (UPI) -- A budding historian, age 13, is being lauded for finding an error in a map on permanent display in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Benjamin Lerman Coady, a seventh-grader from West Hartford, Conn., with a passion for history, visited the Museum with his mother last summer, toured an exhibit on Byzantine art and noted a map, drawn to display the Byzantine Empire at its largest in the 6th Century, was incorrect. The conquests of Spain and part of Africa were missing, and Benjamin informed a docent, who instructed him to fill out a form, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Thursday.

"The front desk didn't believe me," he said. "I'm only a kid."

But curator Helen Evans did, and after several months of review sent him an e-mail reading, in part, "You are, of course, correct about the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire under Justinian."

The Museum is considering adding a second map to the display to correct the error, and invited Benjamin back for a private tour, the newspaper said.

While the young historian takes pride in his attention to detail, his aspirations go beyond history and museums.

"I want to move to Greenwich and open a modern exotic car shop," he said.


Postcard arrives after 55 years

CHICAGO, May 3 (UPI) -- A Virginia man whose postcard from his mother took nearly 55 years to arrive has been offered a free trip to the Chicago aquarium pictured on the card.

Scott McMurry, 71, said the postcard his mother sent him from the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago in 1957 apparently became lost in the mail for nearly 55 years before showing up at a Florida home with a similar address to the Georgia address listed on the card, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

Elizabeth Fulcher, 33, the woman who received the card April 18, posted a picture of the item on Facebook and soon her friends were able to locate McMurry in Virginia.

McMurry said the Shedd heard of the postcard's long trip and offered him an all-expenses-paid trip to Chicago to see the aquarium, which he had never heard of until receiving the postcard.

"If you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would have said it would never happen to me," McMurry said. "It's sort of like winning the lottery."

A U.S. Postal Service spokesman said officials do not know what happened to the card between 1957 and its arrival at Fulcher's house.


Man charged in rooster shooting

LAKE WORTH, Fla., May 3 (UPI) -- A Florida man is facing charges after he allegedly shot his neighbor's roosters because he was angry about their early morning crowing.

Cedric Leonard Livingston, 31, of Lake Worth, was charged Wednesday with crimes including possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm in public and two counts of animal cruelty, The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday.

Ubencelado Maldonado, the owner of the roosters, told Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies he saw Livingston enter the back yard of their duplex April 9 and shoot the two birds with a chrome gun.

Maldonado said Livingston allegedly killed two other roosters two weeks prior to the incident with a hammer.

Livingston was ordered held in lieu of $12,000 bail.


Former Capone hangout for sale on eBay

FOX LAKE, Ill., May 3 (UPI) -- An Illinois building that once served as a weekend retreat for infamous gangster Al Capone is being sold on eBay with a starting bid of $2 million.

Pete Jakstas, owner of the Mineola Lounge and Marina on the shores of Fox Lake, said he decided to list the 17-acre property on eBay Monday after trying unsuccessfully to sell the property during the past few years, The (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald reported Thursday.

"I figured by putting it on eBay, it would draw some bids from around the country," Jakstas said. "Hopefully, this will help sell the property on a national market to the right bidder."

The seller said he is ready to retire after more than 50 years of maintaining the property, which served as a hangout for gangsters including Capone in the early 1920s.

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